Senegal. In April, President Abdoulaye Wade dismissed Prime Minister Idrissa Seck, who was replaced by former Interior Minister Macky Sall. This sparked speculation that Seck had created such a strong base of power that Wade felt threatened.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Senegal is 16,743,938 people in 2020. Journalist Madiambal Diagne from the privately owned newspaper Le Quotidien was arrested on July 9 accused of publishing secret documents and news which, according to authorities, “could cause serious political problems”. Three days later, most independent mass media organized a day-long protest against the arrest, as no private newspapers were published and private radio stations were silenced. Diagne was released in late July.
Senegal was reported from the summer to have suffered the most severe grasshopper attacks in 15 years. Particularly severe was the northern part of the country.
A change of power occurred in September within the separatist movement MFDC (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance), which is fighting for independence in the south. Former Secretary-General Jean-Marie François Biagui was unanimously appointed MFDC’s new leader after Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, the pastor. The latter joined and founded the organization in the early 1980s. Senghor signed a peace agreement with the Wade government in 2001, which led to the MFDC being split. The new leader Biagui was seen as someone who could unite the various factions. Some have threatened to take up arms again, while Biagui was among those who advocated a negotiation solution with the Dakar government.
Parliament voted in December to abolish the death penalty. Four convicted prisoners had their sentences converted to prison sentences. However, no execution had been carried out since 1967.
At the end of the year, the government concluded a new peace deal with MFDC’s founder, Diamacoune Senghor. Special surveillance commissions would monitor the parties’ observance of the ceasefire and that a disarmament of the rebels really took place. Otherwise, few details of the contents of the agreement were known. Several of the rebel movement’s factions were said to have opposed the settlement, but it was uncertain what influence they had. Over 3,500 people have been killed in the conflict, which has been going on since 1982. If the new agreement would bring peace to the fertile region, both the government and several donors were expected to provide financial support for the reconstruction of Casamance.